Wyoming Teacher asks Thought Provoking Questions on Common Core’s Implemenation

teacherletter

Diane Evans, a recently retired Wyoming educator, wrote a letter that speaks of concerns and addresses many questions we all should be asking about Common Core’s implementation. I hope that many people across our state and even nation will have the opportunity to read it.

A question one might ask after reading this is, “Why aren’t more teachers speaking out, or asking these same questions?” I know from personal experience that it is truly about fear of repercussions from those that are, “just doing their job”, and implementing something that shouldn’t be in our schools in the first place. Of course there are those that believe that Common Core will be the next best thing for education, using words such as “rigor”, “global competiveness“, and “national collaboration”. Those words are the sign of those that have not looked into the un-American way CC was brought to our local schools. These are the same talking points that the creators and funders of CC would have you believe are the reason we need this sweeping change to education standards. There are even those teachers that claim that since using CC wonderful things have happened in their classrooms. Those things could have happened without the government mandating the change, along with more data collection, federally funded curriculum and testing, and loss of local control of education, stifling the voice of parents, teachers, and school boards.

Read Diane’s heartfelt questions and concerns:

February 4, 2014

 To Whom It May Concern:

 As a former Wyoming educator, I have several questions concerning the implementation of the common core standards and why the federal government is pushing so hard to centralize the power of education away from local control and into Washington.  The Federal Government needs to be up front with the people in answering these questions.

 What is the reasoning behind all the student data collection?  Teachers are inundated with record keeping and student data collection.  What is the real purpose behind this?  How is it improving the education system and how is it going to be used?  What types of data are being collected?  How concerned should parents be about the use of that data?  

 Why has the Federal Government pushed schools so hard to implement these standards and offered financial incentives to do so?   What has happened to the local control and parental empowerment in our education system?  Why is Washington centralizing more education power to the federal government?  What is our entire education system going to look like in the next five to ten years?  Will national standardized tests force identical curriculum mandates across the nation?  If so, who will choose that curriculum? 

 Concerned parents need to be asking these questions.  They need to ask for real answers and transparency when it comes to the education of their children.  I am concerned at the lack of transparency from not only the federal government, but the state governing bodies as well.  Our elected officials need to represent the people with openness and honesty concerning the common core standards and their long term goals and effects on the education system. 

 Hopefully, these questions will be answered honestly and parents will have a clear picture of what the schools will look like in the near future.  Hopefully, parents will begin their own research into this issue and take a stand for the education of their children.  As educators, we encourage students to think “out of the box.”  This new push for equality, squelching creativity in the classroom, and placing the control of our education system into the hands of the federal government might just put them back into that box.  Let’s do the research and find out the answers to the many questions that are looming over the implementation of these standards and why the big push for the federal government to take over the control in this area. 

Sincerely,

Diane Evans

Cody, Wyoming

WY LCSD#2 Publishes Letter to Legislators!

LCSD#2

An exciting development for our state and movement against education reform!  Lincoln County School District #2’s Board of Trustees and Chairman, Alan Linford, have written a letter to our state legislators.  The letter states they, “feel some decisions have been made, and others are currently being proposed, that remove elements of local control and limit our ability as a Board and district to best meet the needs of our students and stakeholders.” 

I am thrilled to hear a board make that statement rather than be resigned to the postion they are currently in with top-down education reform.  They are elected to speak for their communities, even if they feel like throwing their hands up and saying,”It’s out of our control!”   BRAVO!!  Read the letter below:

January 14, 2014

Dear State Legislators:
As a school board we appreciate the challenges associated with trying to ensure that all students in Wyoming receive the best possible education. Lincoln County School District #2 shares that goal, and prides itself on being a high performing district while adhering to local, state, and federal rules and regulations. Additionally, we recognize that the state of Wyoming generously funds education and understand the expected accountability that accompanies this funding. We appreciate the generous funding level and support being accountable for our educational outcomes. We feel some decisions have been made, and others are currently being proposed, that remove elements of local control and limit our ability as a Board and district to best meet the needs of our students and stakeholders.

From our perspective, requirements from the state and federal levels appear to be constantly increasing and changing. It is getting increasingly more difficult for a district of our size to comply with all of the state and federal requirements, while continuing to improve outcomes for students. While we respect your role as legislators, we also value local control which enables us to meet the expectations of our stakeholders. We ask that you please consider our concerns in the upcoming legslative session.
We are also concerned about the ever-changing targets that we as a local district are facing. It seems like we are in a constant state of flux when it comes to standards, assessment, accountability, and other educational issues. We ask that you set direction, with input from all stakeholders, and then hold the course so that we have time to implement the things you are requiring. It is very taxing and counter-productive when we try to respond to state and federal mandates only to have them change before we complete the journey. While we wish to meet your high expectations, which often align with our own, it is increasingly difficult when the expectations change frequently.

Some of our stakeholders have some additional concerns that we would like you be be aware of. They are listed below.

• Data Privacy: Data should be strictly confidential and should only be shared within the state for education related purposes by those with a need-to-know-basis. It is imperative that personally identifiable information not be revealed or accessed by those outside of our school, district, or state.

• Top-down Approach: Intrusion from outside entities is an obstacle to improving educational outcomes in our district. The solution is not more top-down intrusion, no matter how well-intentioned, from any level of government.

• Stakeholder Involvement: Parents and other stakeholders want to continue to have a high-level of involvment in the decision-making process when it comes to educating our children.

Once again, we acknowledge the generosity with which you fund schools. We will continue to make every effort to provide our students with the world-class education that they deserve. Thanks for your consideration of our concerns.

Sincerely,
Lincoln County School District #2 Board of Trustees
Alan Linford, Chairman

Sign THIS Letter for NO NGSS in Your School District!!

SAY NO to NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The State School Board in Wyoming is looking at adopting a set of science standards for public
school students that are concerning. Many people around Wyoming have let the State Board know that they do not want these standards adopted for our kids, but it still looks like they will accept them anyway.

Your local district has the opportunity to  let the State Board know that these are
not the right choice of Wyoming.

Please consider signing this letter asking our local School Board
to take a stance.

If you and your spouse share the same email address, please list “Joe & Jane” in the first name column.

The program only allows an email to be used once.

Click on your district to read and sign the letter.

Sweetwater County School District #1

Sweetwater County School District #2

Park County School District 1

Park County School District 6

Campell County 1

Teton County 1

If your county is not available please email:

contact@wyomingcitizensopposingcommoncore.com